Canadians will soon be able to use recreational marijuana after the country’s lawmakers passed Bill C-45 (Cannabis Bill) earlier in the week with a vote of 52-29.
Canada now becomes the first G7 nation, and the second country in the world after Uruguay, to legalize the use of weed for recreational purposes.
While speaking at the House of Commons on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the law will go into effect on October 17, 2018.
Trudeau administration had initially intended to have the law rolled out by July 2018, but territories and provinces requested for additional time to come up with their own rules for weed sales.
The law allows adults aged 18 years and above to possess legal pot and share up to 30 grams in public, according a New York Times report.
It also allows consumers to prepare weed edibles for personal use and grow up to a maximum of four plants in their homes.
The bill further expects them to purchase weed from producers licensed by the federal government, or from province/territory regulated retailers. Tobacco or alcohol sale locations are prohibited from selling weed.
The federal government has also amended the country’s impaired driving laws to cover the consequences for driving under marijuana influence. Further, it prohibits the sale of marijuana to persons under the age of 18 years (19 years in some territories).
The Prime Minister took Twitter soon after Senate passed the bill saying, “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate. #PromiseKept”
Canadian marijuana stocks reacted positively to the historic bill. Shares of Canopy Growth Corporation reached a record high of C$45.10, after gaining 6% on Wednesday. Canopy is the biggest marijuana producer in the country with a market value of C$8.9 billion.
Aphria, Inc., and Aurora Cannabis Inc. climbed 3.6% and 3.8% respectively. Meanwhile, Cronos Group Inc. soared 6.2%. The S&P/TSX Composite Index in Toronto was pushed to a record high by the marijuana stock surge.
The Canadian marijuana industry is expected to lead huge profits when legal start in October. Pot companies are likely to invest more, and that could end pushing the stocks up.
Bloomberg reports that Canada’s legal pot market could surpass C$5 billion in 2020. Last year, the market was estimated to be worth C$600 million.
The government plans to tax legal cannabis at either 1/10 of a product’s price or $1 per gram, whichever is higher, plus provincial and federal sales taxes.
It will then give 75% percent of the tax revenue to territories and provinces.
The industry is also expected to take a different shape than the way it is currently set up in nine American states where recreational marijuana is legal.
For instance, it is illegal to order marijuana online and have it sent through the mail in the US, but Canadians will be able to do so once the law comes into effect.
IMAGE: TORONTO – May 6: Supporters carrying Canadian styled flags during the Global Marijuana March in Toronto, Canada.